Collaborating on expertise and knowledge is an investment in professional well-being for the team, by the team. It serves two purposes: to reduce feelings of inadequacy and frustration caused by limited access to info; and to align them with a culture of excellence. In practical travel terms, it’s about producing quality proposals, growing a shared knowledge base and developing expertise within the team, to boost the bottom line.
Impacting enquiry turnaround time
An enquiry comes in. A family of 5 wants a coastal holiday with a difference, away from crowds. The parents are eco-warriors who want to teach their kids aged 3, 7 and 12, how to walk their talk. The kids love animals; the eldest is obsessed with tortoises and turtles. What’s your average turnaround time on an enquiry like this.. if your team’s ‘family expert’ is on leave?
The clock starts. Now multiply this enquiry by 10 prospects in a day, remembering that you’re probably not the only travel brand this family has approached. That’s how busy you can get and how competitive the business is.
You want to go from zero to sent in 20 minutes with a good quality proposal that matches the client requirements.
Time to get creative, fast! My contention is, with organised content and shared expertise, 1 consultant has the ability to ninja through all those prospects on the same day. Ambitious? Not really. Start by empowering your team with time-saving tools that help them be more efficient and so increase their productivity.
The building blocks of quality tour proposals
Content, destination knowledge and expertise in the tourism trade live at the core of a relevant, business-forward strategy. Facilitate access to these assets and you’ve got a more efficient team of individuals who feel integral to the success of the business. Some members of the team will know more about certain destinations than others; some will know certain supplier products more intimately; some are multilingual; some may specialise in a certain travel or traveller types. At a time when personalisation is standard requirement, proposals need that detail to gain an edge. Ideally, everyone in your team should feel empowered to service their clients accordingly.
Providing employees access to the necessary information their job requires is an integral part of every business strategy.
Organise for efficiency
Destination knowledge, info on preferred supplier products, trade expertise and content can be comprehensively packaged as a basket of business assets – when they’re organised, available for communal use and easy to access, it helps the individual and the team work more efficiently.
Document destination knowledge and customise your content; translate existing itineraries and store as collateral to be repurposed. Accommodation, activity and restaurant suppliers can be tagged, labelled and categorised by internal rating criteria (from comfort to luxury), by flags (seasonal or malaria-prone zone), by tags (holiday type, for example, honeymoon, safari, beach), by experience (animal interaction or wine-tasting), etc.
Add noteworthy comments from site inspections, fam trips and educationals, that help inform the selection of a product. Commissions paid by suppliers can be documented. In a sense, you’re loading and organising your intellectual assets in one place for everyone’s benefit.
As a communication channel for collaboration, it empowers everyone to contribute to the consistency with which your brand is portrayed.
Once it’s organised and managed in one accessible place, it’s quicker to get the specific info and content needed for anyone on your team to create good quality proposals. There’s no scrurrying around, fumbling in ignorance or guessing what might be a good fit for the client, because the info at your fingertips is already researched, tried and tested. Alternatives are easy and quick to identify when the client reverts back for a tweak here and there or product availability is in question.
The quicker your response, the better the service you can consistently provide across your company. In practical terms, the information is visible in the Wetu Itinerary Builder for easy selection during itinerary creation; it’s also visible in the Consultant Portal for thorough planning and product development. Content is automated and simplified for optimal use.
Organise to optimise resources
If you had a system that organised and stored all the information needed to design a personalised itinerary for the family of 5, even with your ‘family expert’ out-of-office, you could access their expertise and confidently generate a suitable proposal in far less time than it would’ve taken otherwise.
Consider it skills-sharing. You’d save hours on research, hours producing relevant content, and hours building a logical, personalised itinerary.
All the time saved frees you to consult and engage with the client for longer.
More time is exactly what modern travellers want from their travel professionals; so if you match or even exceed their expectation with better engagement, you’ve got a happy client. A happy client will advocate for your business and the service you provide, which helps you tick that competitive edge box.✅
Furthermore, time saved building itineraries affords you the opportunity to service more clients, and potentially earn more revenue. You have more time to develop your product knowledge (and a space to do that in, right at your work station, from the most reliable source, namely your peers) in lieu of actual experience. With an organised bag of tricks to dip into at a moment’s notice, you can respond faster and compete better for business.
Organise for productivity
Churning out proposals fast and in great numbers is one thing, but producing relevant and personalised proposals that inspire is what hooks sales. And being able to do that consistently is good for business. The definition of productivity:
..a specific measurement of the amount & value of the work that’s been completed in a set amount of time..
Organised collateral is a good start. If you calculated your team’s or individual productivity, your formula would include the amount of time, labour and money spent on specific tasks.
The time to interpret a client enquiry + the time to profile the client, identify products and alternatives to match + time and labour to source content + time to create an itinerary + resources to translate an itinerary if necessary + time to access special offers relevant to the client + time to make adjustments + time to advise the client. Factor in the resources spent acquiring product and destination knowledge on an ongoing basis.
Potentially, this invites friction that’s most unwelcome in a high-pressure job that prizes speed and accuracy. Also, what’s the sense in slaving over something a colleague can provide insight on (even in their absence)?
The underlying opportunity lies in the ability to streamline and simplify the organisation of content and travel info, so that the quality of proposals, turnaround time and volume exceed the overall resources spent.
Ultimately, it serves to support your team with information and a system that helps them do their jobs better.
A productive team loves organised travel content and shared expertise! Why? Because each component of your productivity calculator will take less time and ultimately boost conversion rates.. Consultants can move onto the next task quickly, getting more done individually or as a team.
Collaboration on content, information and collateral is constructive, doing away with guess work and instilling an inclusive culture.
Existing tour products that meet the criteria of new enquiries are easily repurposed.
More time with your client improves the level of engagement and can stimulate loyalty, in turn directly influencing your repeat and referral business opportunities.
Sales material can be produced faster to support targeted campaigns. Slap together inspiration boards with branded preferred supplier iBrochures and itineraries in record time. It’s quick and easy to put together promotions according to theme, holiday or traveller types, based on specials, trends and popular products, or to boost low season prospects.
Consistency in your presentations shows that your team is steering the business in the same direction, at a competitive pace, and reinforcing your brand.
A happy team is a motivated, invested team. When the resources at their disposal are optimised with a system that helps them work efficiently, saves them time and gets them producing more (good quality proposals), they feel empowered in their work. Doing their best for their clients is a natural result and the rewarding conclusion to their transactions. The solution is to organise and harness existing resources with a little help from technology.